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Five Changes to the Way LA Votes

Posted September 24, 2019 by Team LA 2050

Over the last 10 years, Los Angeles County has been working to improve the voting process for its 5.2 million registered voters. In March 2020, locals will get to cast their votes through this redesigned system during California's presidential primary.

Excited to give this new system a try? So are we!

The great news is that you won't have to wait till March. LA County will be holding mock elections on September 28-29 at 50 locations county-wide to test this system. Non-registered voters, including high school students, are also invited!

Learn more about how to participate here. We hope to see you out there voting! But until then, here are the five major changes to your voting experience that you should know about:

1. Polls will now be open for 11 days instead of 13 hours.

There will now be a longer time frame for you to cast your vote, as LA County officials believe that their new voting machines will significantly cut down on issues with crowding and mechanical breakdowns.

These new machines, developed by Silicon Valley design company IDEO, will marry paper ballots with touch screens that feel like using an ATM or checking in at the airport. Voters will use the screen to review their choices, feed a paper ballot into the machine, and simply press a button to complete their vote.

2. You can vote at any polling location within LA County instead of a specific designated polling place.

Despite there being 4,800 polling places county-wide, locals currently don't have much choice when it comes to choosing where to cast their votes. This new process will issue each registered voter a QR code based on their address that they can then scan at any polling location to call up the specific ballot they need.

3. Voting machines will be more accessible.

The LA County region is both enormous and multi-lingual. In prioritizing accessibility for all voters, including voters with different types of disabilities and different levels of English proficiency, these new voting machines will feature adjustable displays that make it easy to select from various languages and adjust the text size, as well as include built-in headphones. By allowing voters to submit their votes on-the-spot, this process will also reduce the amount of walking otherwise required of voters at current polling places.

4. You can expedite your voting experience by pre-marking your votes at home.

Voters living a fast-paced lifestyle will be fans of the new expedited experience this process offers. As long as you're connected to the Internet, you'll be able to access a web platform called the Interactive Sample Ballot where you can pre-mark your votes. It'll generate a QR code that you can then scan in-person at the polling location and the machine will simply pre-populate the ballot for you to review. Goodbye manual copying-and-pasting, hello convenience!

5. You can both register and change your registration on-site.

LA County's new polling model will use electronic pollbooks for poll staffers to verify your eligibility in real time. This will allow them to register you to vote immediately on-site and help bar people from voting at multiple locations. This means voters can now avoid the gray area of provisional ballots and show up fully reassured that they're making a difference.

Activation Grantee Update: LA Street Vendors Campaign

Posted September 18, 2019 by The LA Street Vendors Campaign Team

Beyond Legalization: The Implementation Phase of the LA Street Vendor Campaign

This is an update on the winning proposal from the CREATE category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Since we received the LA2050 grant in August 2018, the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign reached a major milestone: Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in November 2018 to adopt a permit system for sidewalk vending, finally leading to the legalization of sidewalk vending within the City of LA!

The impact of this legislation is enormous. More than 50,000 street vendors operate in the City of Los Angeles alone, representing a $504 million industry. With legalization, we can expect to see these numbers grow as street vending becomes a safer way to make a living — especially for women and people of color.

For the campaign's core partners, East LA Community Corporation, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN), Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), and Public Counsel, the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign has always been about both protecting the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable workers in the city, and providing them with greater economic opportunity. Approximately 80 percent of street vendors are women of color who contribute to the rich, diverse street food landscape through the informal economy — and when allowed to do their work legally and safely — contribute to the vitality of their neighborhoods and LA as a whole.

Take a look at this piece by KCET that covers the most recent history of our campaign and shares stories of vendors across the city.

The ordinance passed by City Hall will allow street vendors to do just that, and comes after nearly a decade of advocacy from thousands of street vendors and their supporters. But there's still much work to be done. Throughout 2019, we've focused our organizing efforts on three major components: ensuring the City of Los Angeles permit regulations are fair and inclusive; doing outreach to vendors across the region to make sure they know their rights under SB946, the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act; and, building the capacity of vendors by hosting workshops on healthy food and financial resources to make sure they are ready for the implementation of a permit program in 2020.

Click here to read our assessment of where the legalization policy stands now and where there is still work left to be done.

What's next? Summits, workshops, and success

On Friday, March 22, 2019 hundreds of local street vendors filled the cafeteria and classrooms of Los Angeles Trade Technical College. This was the First Street Vendor Summit hosted since we won legalization. It provided vendors from across LA County with several workshops on how to become a successful vendor under the new rules and regulations passed by the City. There were four major topics covered by the workshops:

  • The nitty gritty of the new Sidewalk Rules and Regulations in the City of Los Angeles from the Bureau of Street Services, helping vendors understand where they can set up, how much space they can use, if they need a permit yet, and more.
  • How to comply with food safety regulations of the Department of Public Health, who regulates food vending throughout the County of Los Angeles;
  • What resources are available to vendors who are looking to build their businesses or buy permitted equipment;
  • And most importantly, a Know Your Rights workshop that gave details to vendors on what their rights are under SB 946, and how they can appropriately respond to harassment from many different parties.

After the summit, we began a series of five capacity-building workshops. We held three workshops on healthy food menus, health equity and food justice, and two on financial planning so that vendors can plan for new carts and permits. Through this, we were able to provide information and resources to 120 vendors. In this implementation phase, we are learning so much more about the people we have been advocating for; and they are teaching us more intimately their needs, empowering us to ensure their livelihoods are always at the forefront of policy, advocacy, and capacity building. We will host another series of workshops and clinics in late summer and early fall that will support vendors with the basics of operating a legitimate business, including obtaining seller's permits and food handling licenses.

What we learned

This summit and workshops were not only a learning experience for the vendors, but also one for us. It reignited some of our longstanding concerns and highlighted that it will take all of us - vendors, consumers, advocates, and allies - to make sure that vendors are properly and responsibly brought into the formal economy. We put these lessons into a summary sheet to get the word out about our concerns and our hopes for the future. These concerns also guided conversations at the coalition meeting on July 18, where 25 organizations re-committed to engage during this phase of the campaign by working on issues related to park vending, cart innovation, outreach, and continued policy advocacy. The coalition will continue to organize and work with vendors to develop vendor based solutions to these concerns, and we will continue to engage public agencies to work on improving the legal vending program.

Digital advocacy

To uplift the work that vendors and allies have done to legalize street vending, we launched a digital advocacy campaign this month to spread awareness of street vending by sharing stories of “Vendors in Action." Through highlighting why they vend and celebrating their contributions to the fabric of our city, we hope to showcase how vendors are both entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. This will activate people who are both familiar and unfamiliar with street vendors in LA. This campaign will be using a fixed set of hashtags in both Spanish and English to reach as many people as possible, and ideally create a social media movement to demystify street vending and further normalize their entrepreneurship and leadership in our city.

We will continue to define and measure our success through the number of new micro-enterprise jobs that are created as a result of legalization, and the number of existing vendors that are trained to manage their businesses, and eventually, navigate the new permit process. We will also continue to tell the story of the LA Street Vendor Movement, and track our progress through engagement on social media. We will continue the digital advocacy campaign through June, and then have another push in August to showcase new work on rules and regulations.

We're thrilled to be sharing this critical moment in the campaign with everyone involved in the LA2050 Activation Challenge. This grant allows us to activate Angelenos to engage in and build an inclusive economy that supports tens of thousands of workers, whose entrepreneurship often shapes our neighborhood economies and cultural landscape.

For more information on the campaign and/or to get involved in supporing #LAStreetVendors, contact Carla De Paz [email protected]

Activation Grantee Update: The Brady Center

Posted September 17, 2019 by The Brady Center Team

Communities taking action to stop “bad apple" gun dealers

This is an update on the winning proposal from the PLAY category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Brady is proud to continue to report on our Combating Crime Guns Initiative: Los Angeles. The Combating Crime Guns Initiative (CCGI) is a multi-pronged strategy to stem the flow of crime guns into cities that are heavily impacted by gun violence. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 90% of crime guns (firearms that are illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime) are sold by just 5% of gun dealers. Through CCGI, we are using a supply side approach to gun violence, identifying and reforming these gun dealers that are flooding cities with crime guns.

The Brady Center is partnering with the Goldhirsh Foundation's LA2050 initiative to bring CCGI to Los Angeles and help ensure that in 2050, Los Angelenos of all ages will enjoy safe homes, safe neighborhoods, and safe places to play. Under LA2050's 'Play' goal, our project applies to two metrics: per capita crime rate and perceived safety. Looking at our progress over the past year, we are more confident than ever in CCGI's ability to impact these measures over time.

Progress so Far

After the hiring of our Program Manager, Steve Lindley, our work in Los Angeles accelerated significantly. Steve is an experienced community liaison with over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. In the short period of time he's been with us, he's managed to accomplish a tremendous amount of work. As noted in our previous report, in just his first month as Program Manager, he met with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles area Brady Chapters to introduce himself and discuss strategies to reduce gun violence in the Los Angeles area.

As a result of these meetings, Steve was invited to assist the Mayor's Office in drafting legislation aimed at providing enhanced oversight of California firearms dealers, mandatory reporting and tracing of law enforcement seized crime guns, and enhancing the gun purchasing public's knowledge of California firearm and firearm safe storage laws. Steve was also a primary advisor to the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council in their 2019 Louder than Guns campaign.

Steve and Los Angeles area Brady chapter leadership have been instrumental in gaining support and votes for two important Los Angeles city measures. On June 5, 2019, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted for the expansion of the city's safe gun storage ordinance to include long-guns. On June 18, 2019, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to educate parents about proper gun storage and their legal obligation to safely secure firearms. We hope to continue our working relationship with Los Angeles Unified on these issues and incorporate Brady's multimedia safe storage campaign, End Family Fire, into school curricula across the district. Steve is also working with local stakeholders to develop and execute a highschool-based gun safety education program that will activate young adults around gun violence prevention and educate them on simple actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of gun violence.

In late June, Steve testified before the California Senate's Public Safety Committee in support of Assembly Bill 165 (Gabriel), which will increase funding for law enforcement to bolster its use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders, which allow for the temporary removal of a firearm from an individual who is a danger to themselves or others. The bill passed the Senate's Public Safety Committee and we are eager to see it signed by Governor Newsom. Steve is also working on a public education campaign that targets firearms dealers responsible for a disproportionate number of crime guns recovered in Los Angeles.


Political and legislative restrictions to gun dealer liability continue to be a hurdle. However, with a legal and policy team dedicated to these issues, we are well positioned to handle these challenges. Emerging and upcoming challenges include building out our relationships and coalitions to assist in preventing further gun violence, continuing to identify the sources of crime guns, activating youth movement around gun violence prevention, and adapting our various national gun violence campaigns for implementation on the local scale.

What's to Come

In the coming months, we look forward to how our 2019 and 2020 legislative concepts will be implemented at the State level. We are also eager to see how our the Louder Than Guns and the Los Angeles Unified School District's safe firearm campaign impact the City of Los Angeles. We will be working hard to push forward our crime gun dealer public awareness campaign and our youth education program. Finally, we will continue to strengthen our working relationship with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office and other national and local gun violence prevention and youth-focused groups to maximize our impact and reach.

Activation Grantee Update: CISE

Posted September 17, 2019 by The CSU Dominguez Hills Team

Next Generation Science Standards: Empowering Teachers to Empower Students for the Future of STEM

This is an update on the winning proposal from the LEARN category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Exceeding expectations

As part of the LA2050 Activation Challenge, the Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) at CSU Dominguez Hills proposed to empower teachers and provide dynamic training and mentoring on the state adopted, industry recognized Next Generation Science Standards. We proposed training two cohorts of 50 teachers (100 total) over two years.

We are pleased to report that a second cohort of 57 teachers were trained in spring 2019, thus exceeding our target number of teachers per cohort and 100 teachers overall.

Snapshot of the teachers served

  • 70.2% of participants were teachers from LAUSD.
  • 3.5% of participants were teachers from Compton USD.
  • 19.3% of participants were teachers from Inglewood USD.
  • 7% participants were teachers from Lynwood USD.
  • 87.5% of participants indicated that they had been teaching for three or more years.
  • 63.2% of participants taught multiple subjects.
  • 29.8% of participants taught science.
  • 3.5% of participants taught Special Education classes.
  • 3.5% of participants taught STEM/Computer Science
    • Cohort 1:
    Fall 2018
    Cohort 2:Spring 2019Cohort 1 & 2Combined
    Total Participants5557 112
    Participants-Compton USD19%3.5%11.25 %
    Participants-Inglewood USD17%19.3%18.15%
    Participants from other districts8%7%7.5%
    Participants teaching 3 or more years83%87.5%85.3%
    Multiple Subject Teachers51%63.2%57.1%
    Single Subject -Science Teachers40%29.8%34.9%
    Single Subject-Mathematics Teachers9%4.5%
    Special Education Teachers3.5%1.75%
    STEM/Computer Science Teachers3.5%1.75%

Activities between January 2019 and May 2019

The CISE team has met all project goals through the grant implementation. The team recruited teachers, held a Kick Off events, completed the first and second cohort of NGSS Super Training, and conducted classroom observations and Lesson Study Cycles. One of the primary focuses of the training was establishing the foundation for the Next Generation Science standards. Participants learned about the organization of NGSS, identifying what Performance Expectations (PE), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), and Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCCS) are, and how they compare to the previous set of standards. Teachers then explored how teaching with an emphasis on DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs, referred to as 3 Dimensional learning, better prepares students for college and career readiness.

NGSS Super Training participants were also offered the opportunity to obtain the Beginner Level Certification in Fabrication Technology which certifies teachers as basic, proficient, and advanced in the use of fabrication laboratory equipment for curriculum design and delivery. Every participant was successful at meeting the requirements for the Beginner Fabrication Technology Certification.

Prior to the classroom observations, an NGSS expert and teachers met in advance to agree on the observation focus and review the lesson plan; the NGSS expert reviewed and documented evidence of good teaching practices, and provided formal feedback. During the Lesson Study Cycles, teams of teacher trainees engaged in collaborative planning-teaching-observation of learning, followed by lesson evaluation and refinement.

Value delivered to teachers

Based on the data collected throughout the training, participants found the training to be a valuable experience. Each teacher had an opportunity to demonstrate mastery and an ability to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards and the Fabrication Technology into a unit of instruction which was submitted into a shared google drive folder, for free accessibility. We are excited to report:

Perfect attendance for each day of the training: 100% of participants attended every session.

  • 98.2% of participants were very satisfied or satisfied with all workshops.
  • 100% of participants indicated they would recommend this training series to other teachers.
  • 88% of participants indicated that they would be interested in receiving additional certification if provided the opportunity.
  • 72% increase in the comfort level of participants who felt comfortable or very comfortable operating the 3D printer from the first to the final day.
  • 74%% increase in the comfort level of participants who felt comfortable or very comfortable operating the vinyl cutters from the first to the final day·71% increase in the comfort level of participants that indicated they were either comfortable or very comfortable with teaching how to use a 3D printer.
  • 69% increase in the comfort level of participants who felt comfortable or very comfortable teaching others to use the vinyl cutters from the first to the final day.

Overall, program completers acquired the required knowledge about NGSS, thus contributing to the national effort as well as our local effort to implement the new standards one school at a time. Over 80 teachers expressed an interest in participating and 57 were selected and completed the entire training, thus exceeding the target number set for Cohort 2 by 7 teachers.

While we are still a few years away from being able to measure and evaluate the impact on college and community college completion and matriculation rates, we feel confident about the impact our program has had on increasing students' immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content. In context, each one of the 57 teachers who completed our program teaches about 150 students each year, hence impacting over 8,550 students in one year who will benefit from their teachers' new knowledge and enthusiasm. Over five years, these 57 teachers will reach 42,750 students! That means 42,750 more students excited and inspired about STEM and fabrication technology. That's 42,750 more individuals who will contribute to making Los Angeles not just a better place, but the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live by the year 2050!

Activation Grantee Update: Everyone In

Posted September 17, 2019 by The United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Saying “yes" to supportive housing for the most vulnerable people

This is an update on the winning proposal from the LIVE category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Since January 2019, the Everyone In campaign has worked tirelessly to site and approve more supportive and affordable housing across L.A. County. With the added capacity we have brought to the housing and homelessness space in messaging, events, and organizing, we have successfully increased the number of units sited per year by 700%. Of the total number of units sited, roughly a third of them are under construction and will open their doors in a few years. The more supportive and affordable units that open, the more people we can bring indoors and chip away at the homelessness crisis.

Everyone In by the numbers

as of July 31, 2019

  • Facebook 39,831 (22%▲)
  • Twitter 15,700 (20%▲)
  • Instagram 5,117 (42%▲)
  • Email 36,139 (31%▲)
  • Supportive housing units sited 6,424
  • Units under construction 1,812

The work of the organizing team

Much of the success of Everyone In can be attributed to the work of our organizing team that cover every region in the county. The organizing team has been actively building community support for over 35 developments countywide. Local residents are getting involved and signing up for trainings to become “super advocates" skilled in the basics of community organizing and messaging. We've empowered residents to build their own local coalitions to address the crisis in their community through hosting events, canvassing, and engaging their elected officials on solutions that work. Our goal this year has been to move the thousands of people who have signed up for Everyone In up the engagement ladder to win local battles.

Engaging residents

To engage residents, we have relied on our digital outreach and events to cast the widest net to convert new supporters. To celebrate our first anniversary in March, we launched large ads on billboards, buses, and radio spots to build brand awareness. We've increased the number of local events to include The Advocates documentary screenings, a storytelling series called Stories From The Frontline in six communities, and Pop Ups at major community events. We've utilized a texting platform, Hustle, to engage new sign ups to invite them to a local event or have an organizer contact them for follow up. And finally, we've hosted bi-monthly orientations that have 30-40 participants call in during their lunch break on Fridays.

2019 Campaign Highlights

  • Hosted first anniversary event, Gather 2019, at Union Station L.A. with over 500 attendees
  • Increased to 13 organizers countywide
  • Developed training curriculum to focus on local overview, messaging, organizing tactics and strategy
  • Developing policy workshops with Abundant Housing L.A. and Inner City Law Center on preventative measures
  • Increase internal staff by 5 employees
  • Host bi-monthly call-in orientations to an estimated 30+ people per call

With the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation, we have expanded our organizing capacity and have new organizers dedicated to areas like Long Beach, Pomona/East San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena/West San Gabriel Valley, Antelope Valley, and East L.A./Gateway Cities. In jurisdictions outside of the City of L.A. we take a deeper look at improving policies that streamline development, provide legal protections for renters, and exploring ways the United Way can enter the rent stabilization conversation. The results of the 2019 Homeless Count showed a 12% increase countywide (16% in the City of L.A.) despite all the work we have done collectively to permanently house and site new development at record rates. Every day last year, we helped 133 homeless people move into permanent housing, but another 150 were driven into homelessness for the first time.


We've partnered with Abundant Housing L.A. and Inner City Law Center in developing our policy improvement work in the targeted seven jurisdictions with heavy focus in the City of Whittier, Long Beach, and unincorporated areas. We've worked with L.A. County's Homelessness Initiative and L.A. County Regional Planning Department on the Interim and Supportive Housing Ordinance (ISHO) that would streamline bridge and supportive housing development in unincorporated areas. Unincorporated areas has over 1.1 million residents in 120 communities and, if combined, would be considered the second largest city in the county. Since the unincorporated jurisdictions do not have an elected body, the Board of Supervisors act as their city council and mayor. We just finished community engagement on the ordinance and are waiting for the completion of a feasibility study. We are also looking into strategies to make the Temporary Rent Stabilization Ordinance, an annual cap of 3% rent increase and requiring just cause evictions, permanent in 2020.

Progress in the last six months

  • Number of attendees at events: Over 1,800 at 6 storytelling events
  • Number of people trained: Over 600 people trained
  • Number of policy improvements passed: 5 local laws passed, 1 pending in unincorporated areas
  • Number of campaign endorsements: 130 partner organizations and agencies

Activation Grantee Update: Miry's List

Posted September 17, 2019 by The Miry's List Team

This is an update on the winning proposal from the CONNECT category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Welcome, Neighbor is a campaign created by Miry's List in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). Our goal is to make Los Angeles the most welcoming city for resettling refugee families by activating Angelenos across the city through their Neighborhood Councils to welcome and support their newest neighbors.

In 2019, 14 neighborhood councils voted "yes" to participate in Welcome, Neighbor to make LA more welcoming for resettling Angelenos:

Utilizing social media, council meetings, resolutions, and volunteer opportunities, to date we've reached over 70,000 and engaged nearly 14,000 Angelenos.

Learn more here!

Happy Birthday LA!

Posted September 4, 2019 by Team LA 2050

On September 4, 2019, LA turns 238 years young! In honor of our city's birthday we asked 26 leaders, doers, and innovators to share their birthday wish for the City of Angels.

We heard dreams about better transportation, wishes to support local entrepreneurs, and plans to invest in future generations. It looks like this is going to be a great year for LA.

Tell us your wish for LA's birthday using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayLA and tagging us (@LA2050) on your social media platform of choice - we cannot wait to see your ideas!

Book Lovers Day - Recommendations from our Staff

Posted August 9, 2019 by Team LA 2050

This Book Lovers Day we got help from our staff to create a list of our own bookshelf favorites! Here are our must-haves to add to your own book collection:

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers

Goldhirsh Foundation President Tara Roth admitted she cried in public while reading this Pulitzer Prize winning book. “It's just a beautiful and sad story. You become immersed in all the character's stories and truly care about them."

Sula by Toni Morrison

Tara also recommends this novel that chronicles the friendship of two women over their lifetimes. By taking the characters through different paths in life, Morrison shows what it's like to be a black woman in America.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton G. Malkiel

Social Innovation Coordinator LeAnn Kelch recommends this book about investing. “As someone who is just starting out in my career, I wanted to learn about how I could (and should) be investing my money. This book is helpful for those who are looking for more than just simple advice and want to understand not just what they should do with their investments, but why. I've learned so much!"

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

LeAnn also recommends this book that traces the history and lasting impact of redlining in America - revealing how the government imposed residential segregation and “contributed greatly to our country's pervasive racial and economic inequality."

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou

From racism, to grieving, to taking time for your own self care, Ms. Angelou gives her raw, real advice to apply to everyday life. “The wisdom, wit, and honesty from her personal experiences helped me learn to love my journey for what it is and take control of it," according to our intern Amanda Guiterrez.

G'morning, G'night!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Amanda also recommends starting your day with Lin-Manuel Miranda's brand of sunshine, “These little affirmations start my day off with motivation and end my night with contentment, and truly make me smile."

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In this book, Obama shares how her experiences growing up in the South Side of Chicago shaped her career and personal life, along with her experiences as first lady. USC Price Fellow Claudia Eccheveria says, “Michelle Obama's memoir is a must read!"

Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence by Aquil Basheer and Christina Hoag

Claudia also recommends this book that provides guidelines on how to become an interventionist and promote peace in some of LA's most vulnerable neighborhoods impacted by gang violence.

Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change by Frank Sesno

Consultant Julie Lacouture says this book by journalist Frank Sesno “has some amazing advice about how to ask great questions to spark change. I learned the difference between empathetic questions, accountability questions, diagnostic questions, and when to best use them."

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow

Julie also recommends this book that follows a young man who "grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism" (his Dad founded Stormfront and his godfather is David Duke) and came to renounce all of it after attending a small college in Florida. Says Julie: “This is a tremendous story of how small influences can make a huge change and how white-supremacist ideas get repackaged and adopted."

Here (Pantheon Graphic Library) by Richard McGuire

This graphic novel is recommended by intern Amanda Liaw, “It's a surprising book that illustrates the stories that have taken place in the corner of a single room across hundreds and thousands of years. It does an amazing job at drawing out the deep emotional connection we somehow feel to spaces."

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Intern Amy Roth recommends this non-fiction book, “Gladwell's narrative of the complexities of “outliers" in society is gripping and thought-provoking."

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

Amy also recommends this detailed analysis to draw parallels between history and the present, as he maps out the road to corruption, censorship, and the suppression of democracy throughout Russia's quest for world domination.

Here to help! Organizations Keeping Los Angeles Strong After Natural Disasters

Posted July 23, 2019 by Team LA 2050

After the back-to-back earthquakes around the 4th of July, Southern Californians realized how important it is to be prepared in the face of natural disaster. It got us thinking about all the organizations that help communities before, during, and after a natural disaster strikes.

  • American Red Cross Prepare SoCal and Disaster Training- Prepare SoCal is an American Red Cross campaign created to address the needs of neighborhoods and encourage community resiliency in the most vulnerable communities. The campaign aims to achieve this through working towards four goals: community preparedness, volunteer engagement, response capacity and communications. The Red Cross also offers free disaster training to communities. These training courses, accessible both online and in person, include the Pillowcase Project Presenter Fundamentals, Shelter Fundamentals, Casework and Recovery Planning Fundamentals, Basic InstructorFundamentals and Public Affair Essentials.
  • Team Rubicon (See their My LA2050 2019 submission here)- Team Rubicon capitalizes on the skills and experience of military veterans by pairing them with medical professionale and first responders. The organization offers incident management, damage assessments, disaster mapping, home repair, and more to affected communities.
  • 211 LA County- 211 LA County partners with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management to provide timely and accurate disaster information services before, during and after a disaster hits. 211 LA County is also partnered with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to provide Public Health issued warnings and advisories.
  • RYLAN (Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood)- RYLAN is a free service offered by the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department meant to encourage, empower, and prepare Los Angeles neighborhoods for the next big disaster. The program increases neighborhood readiness by offering ways for communities to organize, practice, connect, communicate, and train.
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)- The Community Emergency Response Team is a program supported by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Community residents are trained to become disaster first responders to ensure neighborhoods survive and thrive after disaster strikes.

Most of these organizations and more are also a part of the Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA). The ENLA is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that share their knowledge and needed resources throughout the disaster cycle. With the support and resources of all these organizations, communities and the individuals they home can feel more equipped and confident when a disaster strikes.

Volunteer Fun in the Sun: Beach and River Clean Ups around Los Angeles

Posted July 16, 2019 by Team LA 2050

Make memories and make a difference this summer! Beach, lake, and river cleanups are an opportunity to get involved in your community and make public spaces safer and cleaner.

There are plenty of organizations in Los Angeles making a difference for the environment and many hold cleanup events regularly throughout the year:

  • Cabrillo Marine Aquarium - Home to an aquarium display of the largest collection of SoCal marine life in the world, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium holds beach clean ups the first Saturday of every month at Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park. Get involved at the next cleanup events taking place August 3rd and September 7th.
  • Friends of the Ballona Wetlands - A founding member of the Wetlands Restoration Principles Coalition, the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve holds monthly creek cleanup and community restoration events, with the goal of creating a diverse habitat that both improves biodiversity protects rare and sensitive species. You can volunteer at the next events coming up July 19th, July 27th, August 16th and August 24th.
  • Friends of the Los Angeles River - Friends of the Los Angeles River has lead the river movement since 1986, through its devotion to restore the Los Angeles River's natural habitat. This organization holds an annual event named CleanUp. You can sign up for updates on the 2020 CleanUp event or you can book a private clean-up of the River for your corporation through their year-round program called River Makers.
  • Heal the Bay (2015 My LA2050 LIVE Winner) - Heal the Beach has advocated for clean ocean waters in Greater Los Angeles for the past 34 years through their Nothin' But Sand beach cleanups every third Saturday of the month. If you're unable to attend these events, you can do a private clean up through their Adopt-A-Beach and Suits on the Sand programs. Bring your family and friends to the next cleanups taking place July 20th and August 17th.
  • Surfrider Foundation - Since its creation in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation has evolved into the largest non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the world's oceans. Surfrider LA hosts monthly cleanups on the weekend throughout Marina del Rey and the Ventura County line. Surfrider LA also offers corporate sponsored cleanups and the Sunset Corridor campaign, which is meant to share data around pollution with the LA County Board of Supervisors. Come out to the next events coming up July 28th and August 18th.


"DSC_0039"by DontBeAPassenger is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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